Charity delivers food to laid-off Goodwill employees

Former Goodwill employees in Toronto were on the receiving end of some much-needed charity this weekend.

For the second-straight day, Second Harvest, a food redistribution organization, handed out baskets of groceries to workers who were laid off last week.

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On Jan. 16, Goodwill Industries of Toronto, Eastern, Central and Northern Ontario announced it would close 16 stores, 10 donation centres and two offices because of cash flow problems.

"It helps out quite a bit," former Goodwill employee, Christina Schnider, told CTV Toronto.

"For at least a little bit until we can get other employment."

Both Schnider and her husband were among the 430 workers who were affected by last weekend's sudden closures.

"A lot of good people were affected by this, it's really sad," said her husband Nuno Da Chuna."It breaks my heart. (It was) all of a sudden. You're working here one day, and the next it's gone."

The pair was among those who received supplies -- such as fruit, produce, frozen meat, dairy and other staples – donated by Second Harvest on Saturday.

The organization's truck went from one Goodwill location to the next, giving out food to former workers who lined up.

James Nickle, a union representative for Goodwill employees, said it was a nice gesture, particularly given their former roles in the community.

"Normally the employees are the ones helping the less fortunate. Now, they're getting it back in return, thanks to the public and Second Harvest," said Nickle.

In total, Second Harvest gave out food to hundreds of former Goodwill employees from across the Greater Toronto Area.

Debra Lawson, executive director of Second Harvest, said that she hopes the baskets can help sustain them for a week. Lawson said that the charity gave those with larger families a bigger share.

"There some here who have five, six kids, so we know who they are and try to give them a little bit extra," said Lawson.

And they were appreciative of the help.

"It's wonderful to have them here to deliver this food to us, because we're really in need of it," said former Goodwill employee, Sharon Nimblett.

"Losing our job right now, we don’t know what's going to happen out there. So, we're very thankful for it."



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